By Khoudia Diagne
I am so happy to have chosen CCS for my journey in life. I never felt as connected to people as I have during this voyage. I have always had friends but never felt in my adolescence like people could understand both where I am from and where I want to go. Now I feel like I have real American friends who can now understand where I come from and Senegalese friends who have seen my American life and CCS people.
It is so good to have brought people to my country to understand the good and the bad about Senegal. The things that are so very different – the markets, the outdoor basketball courts, the dust, so many things. I have felt so good experiencing these places with my friends.
I felt good and comfortable eventually after my first few weeks at CCS but now I feel I am really part of the family. We have literally lived together nonstop and it has helped me really feel the similarities.
Senegal and the US are similar in various ways too, ways that I have learned to find comfort in. I saw CCS in the way people played together in Kekouta’s village, in the competitiveness of my SEED teammates (so much like Martina), and in the way our dorms are like the ones at SEED. I felt pride in Senegal through some of these similarities.
I am so proud to be Senegalese. I am so proud to have introduced my friends to my family, my coach, my SEED friends, so much. I am proud to see how much the program has grown. To show the value of the programs I attended. I am also proud of the work my family has done to change my own opportunities.
I hope that this is only the beginning of my role in connecting Christchurch with Senegal. There is so much to learn and share.